Circumcision in Older Children

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Whilst many boys are circumcised as a baby or an infant, circumcision for older children is also fairly common. In some cases, parents may wait for their children to be circumcised at an older age, or circumcision may not be suitable at birth due to medical reasons. For some boys, circumcision may be required or becomes beneficial during later childhood.

There are a number of reasons that circumcision may not be suitable for babies and young children, for example:

  • The child may have been born premature, making an operation like circumcision dangerous.
  • The child may be ill, so a simple operation like circumcision isn’t in the best interests of a child’s health.
  • There may be a problem with a child’s penis so circumcision can’t be carried out until a problem is fixed. For example, the urinary opening of the penis may be in the wrong place, the penis may be bent, or the penis may be partially attached to the scrotum.

Some boys are circumcised as older children, not because circumcision was not possible when they were infants, but because medical problems may occur to make circumcision a necessary solution. There are a number of medical problems that circumcision is used to treat:

Birth defects

In some cases, although the penis may be defected from birth, a boy may have to wait until they are older to be safely and successfully operated on to correct the problem.  In some cases, circumcision may be carried out at the same time as corrective surgery.

Urinary tract infections

In some extreme cases, circumcision may be carried out on boys that are prone to urinary tract infections. Some research suggests that boys that are circumcised are less likely to suffer from UTIs. In most children, UTIs are extremely rare after the first year of life and when they do occur, they are mild.

Balanitis

Balanitis is the inflammation of the head of the penis, however, more often than not, the foreskin is also affected. The symptoms of balanitis include redness and swelling around the head of the penis and foreskin, pain when urinating, a thick discharge between the head of the penis and foreskin, combined with itchiness, and often an unpleasant odour. This condition can occur when the foreskin is tight, preventing boys from cleaning their penis properly. In recurring cases of balanitis, circumcision can be a recommended treatment.

Phimosis

Phimosis is a condition where the foreskin is tight and can’t be pulled back over the head of the penis. Many boys can’t move their foreskin all the way back until around 10 years of age, however, by the time they reach puberty, they should be able to do this easily. Boys that suffer from phimosis may experience a number of problems; in some cases, when the foreskin is too tight, they may have problems urinating as urine collects in the foreskin and balloons out, or in some cases, the foreskin may pull back, but not pull forward again. This can cause the head of the penis to swell and be very painful. Circumcision is commonly recommended for boys suffering from phimosis.

If you feel that your child may require circumcision, or at least that circumcision may benefit them, you can call Birmingham Circumcision Clinic on 0121 250 0386 to make an appointment.